Tim Schaffer: Revolutionizing the Industry, One Joke At A Time

By NCG Staff Writer Alex Silver

Revolutionizing the Industry, One Joke At A Time



It would be physically impossible for me to count the amount of times the thought “I want to hug Tim Schaffer right now” has gone through my head. Every veteran gamer that grew up through Lucasarts’ heyday considers the man to be nothing less than a god. Rightfully so, as Schaffer was the brilliant mind behind Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, and (along with the other two most important people in adventure games at the time Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman) The Secret Of Monkey Island and its sequels. Although Schaffer has always been one of the most forward thinking figures in the gaming industry, things got interesting when he decided to go rogue and open Double Fine Productions with a few members of the Grim Fandango development team. Although lately Double Fine’s focus has changed to smaller projects (Costume Quest, Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster), Schaffer has announced he’s going back to what he knows best-good ol’ point-and-click adventure games. Fortunately in this case, as people who grew up playing his games know, with Tim Schaffer there’s always a twist.


The game is going to be developed by donations collected through kickstarter.com, which allows people interested in creative projects to donate and support them. As of 2:00 today, less than 24 hours after the page was launched with a goal of $400,000, the donation bar reads $785,870. The last post to the page reads this:

“We did it! 100% funded in just over eight hours. You people are amazing! But it’s not over yet. The number keeps going up and now the question is just how much news do we want to make with this? We’re getting a lot of attention already and it seems like this little project could have an impact beyond itself. “


In a video released before the project’s launch (which you’ll find after the break), Schaffer said “One of my favorite types of games to make are adventure games, but these days it seems like adventure games are a bit of a lost art form that exist in our dreams, and memories, and…Germany.” This statement demonstrates two incredibly important facts about Mr. Schaffer:
1. He’s incredibly interested in making an adventure game, and has been for awhile

2. He’s still damn funny

Although him being excited about the game is incredibly relevant, the second bit one is what gets me. After playing Brutal Legend(2009) I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little worried. Yes, the game was fairly well written and acted, but not all the jokes hit; in reality it was a bit inconsistent with its humor. While any amount of humor in a modern game is very welcome, I always expect a bit more from Tim Schaffer. I’ll never forget the first time I played The Secret Of Monkey Island. I literally had to let go of the mouse at one point to catch my breath in the middle of a laugh session. I desperately want to feel that again.


There’s one more important facet to this project that I’m incredibly excited about, but everything I’ve read has seemed to neglect it. The entire development will be caught on camera. The team of filmmakers at 2 Player Productions are going to develop this deal into a full length documentary. They’re currently working on a couple of interesting projects-one about the creator of Minecraft, Notch. They’re also pretty well known for being behind Penny Arcade’s web series PTV, which too is in documentary form and I highly recommend you check it out. I’d gladly pay the $15 they’re asking for the game, just for the film.


This is the most excited I’ve been about anything in the video game world for a very long time. There’s almost no way that the game can turn out to be bad, but even if it is the whole process will be a journey to remember. The system of democratically funding projects is brilliant, and this way companies like Double Fine can completely skip the publisher middleman. No more pandering to faceless automatons to get a project made. For your constant forward thinking, hard work, and dedication to a medium that is only getting more relevant with time, my hat is tipped to you Mr. Tim Schaffer. Keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll all be very happy gamers.

All comments of post - "Tim Schaffer: Revolutionizing the Industry, One Joke At A Time":

:Haha! I'am the first! Yeh~

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